ArtsReady brokers employment partnerships

ArtsReady supports partner employers to create training opportunities for young people making a start in the arts and creative industries.
ArtsReady brokers employment partnerships

ArtsReady CEO James Montgomery and GM Andrew Murray.

The ArtsReady training model comes straight from parent company AFL SportsReady, a not-for-profit Group Training Organisation. ArtsReady works in partnership with a host employer to deliver the best possible training and education to a young Australian. As the program broker, AFL SportsReady is the legal employer of all ArtsReady trainees, which frees the partner employer to dedicate their efforts to the workplace training without having to attend to time-consuming administration. A monthly invoice settles all the hassles and headaches.

‘We really care about the people we work with, and we really care about our partners, but it needs to be more than caring,’ said AFL SportsReady CEO James Montgomery. 

'By simplifying the process of hiring and managing the employment contract, all that our partners have to do is provide a safe working environment and practical on-the-job experience.’

ArtsReady manages the traineeship from instigation to graduation. Once a partner employer has identified a need for a trainee in their business or organisation following conversations with ArtsReady program managers, the ArtsReady field consultants step in to assist with recruitment. 

From there the partner employer selects the trainee and the ArtsReady support follows through with induction and taking charge of the complexities of payroll, tax, superannuation, Work Cover, leave loading and penalty rates. 

‘All that is ongoing,’ explains Montgomery, ‘because what we’ve seen is if employers are free to do those things that they know they’re good at, and they do more of it, then they get good outcomes.’

Drawing on the experience of 20 years of working with more than 10,000 trainees, SportsReady can lend the ArtsReady team the benefits of that expertise. ‘We can support young people, we know the wider issues they face early on, we know the importance of drawing in the vocational experience of the employer and we know the value of looking at the training packages they’re involved in,’ said Montgomery. 

All that is wrapped up in direct support from field consultants who are available to sort issues as they arise and make a minimum of four workplace visits in the period of the traineeship. Indigenous trainees have an extra layer of support from their appointed mentors and every trainee will also have face-to-face sessions with their educators.

ArtsReady support staff also supervise and manage the education component of the traineeship. ArtsReady can also find suitable partner education providers or deliver its own Certificates in Business through its own educators and its own RTO. The ArtsReady units have been written specifically for the creative sector to support the workplace training. 

The Certificate III covers workplace behaviours, business documents and databases, marketing and introductions to creative arts industry knowledge and Indigenous culture. The Certificate IV has an emphasis on innovation and teamwork, web maintenance, market analysis, project management and financial fundamentals.

Employers can come in all shapes and sizes provided they have the capacity to pay to host the entry-level trainee. To date, ArtsReady partner employers range from medium-sized enterprises like schools, an arts centre and a design agency to corporations, companies and arts organisations with large turnovers.  

ArtsReady program managers have been talking with key people in the performing and visual arts, design, film, TV, radio, new media, publishing and writing, production, festivals and events, museums and libraries, advertising, marketing and gaming and software development. Conversations continue with schools and associations in the ACT, Victoria and NSW. ArtsReady will be established in other states later this year, with the Northern Territory following in 2015.

Although ArtsReady is a new program, employer partnerships are not new to SportsReady. The views of respondents to employer surveys in 2013 are sure to interest prospective creative sector employers. Almost 97% rated their relationship with trainees as good or excellent; 92% rated trainees’ place and value to the organisation as good or excellent; 85% plan to employ another trainee in the future; and 75% considered offering their trainees ongoing employment. With the same support provided to them, ArtsReady partner employers can take confidence that their experiences will be similarly positive and of mutual benefit to trainees and themselves.

Employers who would like to know more can contact ArtsReady program managers through the ArtsReady website.

Troy Nankervis

Tuesday 18 February, 2014

About the author

Troy Nankervis is an ArtsHub journalist from Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @troynankervis